Study Session

February 29,  2000
7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers

wpe1D.jpg (5250 bytes)


Mayor Rocha called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M., and City Clerk Martin called the roll with all Council Members present.


Council Member Davis led the Council and audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.



City Manager Ramsey introduced the item by stating staff was happy to be able to report better news than anticipated. He stated the General Fund was approximately $1.7M stronger than anticipated at this point in the budget year, and the current projection for the ending fund balance would be $2.8M. The change was due to a change in revenue and expenditures. We will be seeking direction as to Council's desired course of action.

Council Member Sudario requested clarification on whether or not the fund balance included the sale of the property on Delta Fair Boulevard to the County. City Manager Ramsey stated the proceeds from the property sale were in a special fund, and were not included in the projected fund balance.

City Manager Ramsey reviewed the 13 goals established by Council for the 1999-2000 Budget and the progress made to date on these goals. Mayor Rocha commended staff on their diligence and success in adhering with Council's direction regarding the budget, and with the organization as a whole in having managed so well with such a difficult and frugal budget.

Financial Services Director Tasker presented an overview of the budget stating the total revenue increase was $166K; expenditures were down $62,500 less than anticipated. Mr. Tasker discussed the methods used to project revenues, expenditures and property taxes. He then went on to explain in detail the fund expenditures and increases in revenue.

Mr. Tasker went over the Franchise Fees and several categories of income noting staff would be happy to go over these categories with Council in detail at their request. He stated it was more cost effective to underestimate revenues than to overestimate, finding funds to cover unexpected expenditures was difficult. Mr. Tasker discussed the projected COLA salary increases and the increases as a result of the Shannon Study, and the goal of bringing all employees to within 5% of the determined mid-market salary range. He went over several other areas of increased expenditure, including health insurance, supplies and services, transfer outs, and capitol outlay.

Financial Services Director Tasker discussed the Fund Balance stating the City would start next year's budget with roughly a $2.8M Reserve Fund Balance. In answer to Council Member Sudario, Mr. Tasker stated revenue projection was based entirely on analyzation of current trends, and stressed it was an estimate.

Council Member Freitas asked Mr. Tasker reiterate his projection of a 9% reserve at the end of Fiscal Year 2004, to which Mr. Tasker stated a 9% reserve was a "conservative estimate," provided the economy continues at its current pace.

City Manager Ramsey stated the budget estimates for 2001-2004 did not include any COLA increases for employees.

Financial Services Director Tasker concluded his portion of the presentation and turned the meeting over to Financial Services Deputy Director Mezack, who discussed funds not included in the General Fund, which included the Delta Fair Fund, the Gas Tax Fund, and Solid Waste Disposal Funds.

Council Member Soliz stated he had wanted this type of a mid-year budget update for several years, adding utilization of this type of a review could enable the City to move to a multi-year budget in the future.

Financial Services Director Tasker answered specific questions from various Council Members regarding specific funds, along with other general questions.

Discussion ensued between Council and Financial Services Director Tasker on specific items including the Animal Shelter and the cost of off-ramps. Council Member Soliz requested a report on the status of the Animal Shelter including our status on compliance with the Hayden Bill.


Ron Anderson requested to view a specific slide and questioned the accuracy of the numbers, which Financial Services Director Tasker answered to Mr. Anderson's satisfaction. Mr. Tasker went on to answer several more questions for Mr. Anderson.

Council Member Freitas recommended the transfer of $40,000 from the General Fund to the Underground Utility Fund; transfer of $5,400 from the General Fund to the Solid Waste Disposal Fund for partial funding of a full-time equivalent for one month (necessitated by the agreement with Allied Waste); approval of the Delta Fair Property - Increase revenue by $994,220 for sale of land, that the City designate those funds for park rehabilitation or improvements; Gas Tax Fund transfer of $211,250 to the Somersville Assessment District Construction Fund to cover the deficit; and to increase the appropriation by $44,840 in the Solid Waste Program, increase personnel services by $6,300 and increase conferences by $5,000. Council Member Davis voiced his agreement to the recommendation.

Council Member Sudario presented a line-by-line dialogue explaining why she would only be able to support the approval of the Delta Fair Property - Increase revenue by $994,220 for sale of land, and directed the City to designate those funds for park rehabilitation or improvements.

Council Member Freitas expressed his gratitude to City Staff for their sound financial recommendations, the Council Majority for their prudent decisions and willingness to follow the wishes of the citizens. He further stated he was pleased to hear the state of the City was sound. He also directed staff to bring back to Council, during the preparation of the 2000-2001 budget, the issue of the City having no insurance against business interruption during a disaster.

The recommendation was approved.

State Assemblyman Tom Torlakson spoke to the Council regarding several pieces of legislature being moved through the State Legislature that would be economically beneficial to the City of Antioch. He then stated he had inserted into the State Budget a $24M request for BART extension work, that would include finalized alignments, doing EIR work and doing the preliminary engineering necessary to allow this project to go forward, giving this area the leverage to ask for big constructions grants. He felt this area had paid into BART for 30 years and deserved to get a BART extension to Antioch before it went somewhere out of the current BART District. He also felt Livermore deserved to have a BART station as promised, before going to an outside area. He urged the tri-delta cities to work together requesting the grants to bring BART to this area. He also talked about plans to widen Vasco Road.

Mayor Rocha replied a letter had been prepared for presentation at the Mayor's Conference later in the week asking the members to present a united front to the Governor in Sacramento regarding this same issue.


Terry Ramus voiced his appreciation of Assemblyman Torlakson's efforts and for his attending the Council Meeting to give his report.

Tom McNeil discussed the proposed homebuyers' notification brochure, stating though Measure "U" was discussed for almost a year at community meetings, this issue of having the requirement apply to only new homes was never mentioned until it was time for Council to vote on the item. He did not feel the disclosure should affect existing homeowners when they sell their homes.

In answer to Ron Anderson's questions regarding the Renaissance Faire, it was stated Faire contact, Howard Hamburg, had been spoken to a few weeks previous. City Attorney Galstan stated a new State Law passed the previous December, (1999) stated an EIR was not required for projects placed on the ballot by the vote of a City Council.

Council Member Sudario requested any correspondence regarding the Renaissance Faire, or any project posing "grave" impacts be copied and forwarded to her.

City Manager Ramsey requested Council to delay the study session regarding Economic Development stating there were many projects on the table at this time, and staff would like to give these pressing projects more attention. After further discussion, Council agreed to hear the study session on Economic Development on April 18.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:34 P.M.


Approved:  MARY H. ROCHA, Mayor